Care programme for prospective parents with an infectious disease

The CRG of UZ Brussel has a worldwide reputation for its expertise in Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) and all related treatments.
In our work, patient care is key and over the years we have always paid a great deal of attention to improving – in terms of comfort and effectiveness – our treatments.

Based on this philosophy, we have developed an appropriate treatment plan (or care programme) for prospective parents with an infectious disease.
Whether you are a man or a woman who is infected, or perhaps you are both infected, it is possible to bring a healthy child into the world.

Why and whom is this specific care programme aimed at?

For whom?

If you wish to have a child but are also fighting an infectious disease, the CRG is the right place to come for fertility treatment. Although we cannot help everyone - the status of the disease plays a role - this care programme allows many prospective parents to have a healthy child.
Although your treatment may be more complex than if you did not have an infectious disease, with appropriate medical support, the risk of your partner or baby becoming infected is very small.

Obligatory screening for infectious diseases

It is important to know that all Belgian fertility centres are legally obliged – before carrying out a fertility treatment – to perform a blood test for infectious diseases on any prospective parent. This blood test should reveal whether you are potentially infected with one of the following four infectious diseases:
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • syphilis

These diseases, besides being potentially harmful for your own health, may also be transmitted to your partner or (future) child.
The reason for this assessment stems from the fact that these diseases may be transmissible by infected gametes (eggs, sperm cells) and by infected embryos.
The results of these preliminary tests will always remain confidential. We will therefore always discuss these test results with you personally.

On the other hand, if you plan to undergo a fertility treatment as a heterosexual couple using your own gametes, it is impossible to prescribe a suitable treatment if one of both partners is unaware of the presence of the infection.


Why a specific care programme?

With the introduction of the care programme for prospective parents with an infectious disease we aim to:
  • identify prospective parents who are not yet aware of their infectious status and promptly offer them a treatment that offers a safe alternative to fulfil their wish to have a child;
  • offer prospective parents who know they have an infectious disease the safest treatment possible to fulfil their wish to have a child;
  • in all cases, keep the risk of transmitting the infection to the partner and/or unborn child as low as possible. To this end a multidisciplinary collaboration between reproductive medicine, infectious diseases, obstetric and paediatric departments has been set up;
  • guarantee the safety of the other patients and healthcare providers;
  • take the lead in research into infectious diseases and their impact on reproductive medicine.